Driver Finds Homeless Man Dead in Orange Street

Driver uses his car to protect the body until police arrived

A man’s body was found on a usually busy street Monday in Orange, possibly the victim of an early morning hit-and-run.

“He had massive head trauma. He did identification with him, so they were able to ID who he was. At this point, we’re investigating it as a possible hit-and-run, although that’s not known for sure,” said Sgt. Fred Lopez, with the Orange Police Department.

A driver made the grisly discovery about 6 a.m. along Tustin Avenue between Collins and Quincy avenues. The driver used his car to protect the body until police arrived, authorities said.

The victim is described as a 37-year-old Hispanic man. He was carrying a backpack with identification when he died, but authorities are not releasing his name publicly until his family is notified.

Police said the victim likely is a transient, but was known among locals. There is a homeless shelter near the scene and residents said there are pockets along Tustin Avenue where transients tend to sleep.

A 1 1/5-mile stretch of the busy six-lane roadway, which parallels the 55 Freeway, was closed for some six hours and reopened about noon.

Mostly businesses and a few residents dot Tustin Avenue. Police recovered surveillance footage from at least one of those buildings.

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So far, no witnesses have come forward. Anyone with information is urged to call the Orange Police Department.

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